Each year St. Veronica School and Parish choose a theme for the year. Then, throughout the year, the school and Religious Education Program (REP) does presentations related to that theme.
For the 2018-2019 school year our theme is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, based on the Four Marks of the Catholic Church.
The Nicene Creed was written centuries ago to help Christians remember the important beliefs of the Catholic faith. In the Nicene Creed we identify the four marks of the Church. The four marks of the Church are not characteristics that the Church creates or develops or learns. They are qualities that Jesus Christ shares with his Church through the Holy Spirit. The four marks of the Church are: It is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.
The Church Is One
Just as God is one in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, so also is the Church one. The founder of the Church is Jesus Christ, who brought us back to God and made us into the family of God. The Church is one in the Holy Spirit, who dwells in those who believe.
The Church Is Holy
The Church is holy because the Church lives in union with Jesus Christ, the source of holiness. Through the Holy Spirit the Church leads others to holiness. The holiness of the Church is seen in the love that the members of the Church have toward one another and the many sacrifices they make for the sake of the world.
The Church Is Catholic
Catholic means “universal.” The Church is universal in two ways. First, the Church is catholic because all baptized people are part of the Church and the Church possesses the means of salvation. Second, the mission of the Church is universal because the Church has been sent to proclaim Christ to the entire human race.
The Church Is Apostolic
The Church traces its tradition directly from the apostles; therefore, the Church is considered apostolic. With the Holy Spirit the Church preserves and continues the teaching of the apostles. The pope and bishops are the successors of the apostles.
The Catholic Church is ONE. This presentation was made by our 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teachers and students.
The Church is One
This year our theme is the Bridge of Faith. In the Nicene Creed, we profess, “We believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church”. These are the four marks of the church. Similar to a sports jersey that marks what team you are one, these four marks unite us as Church. We are marked by the Holy Spirit as already being one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church. Throughout the year we will learn about each of the four marks of the church. Today and during the upcoming weeks, we will be focusing on the first mark of the church: The Church is One. The churches’ oneness is not created or brought about by us. It came from God. Pope Benedict says “The Church is born from God’s wish to call all people to communion with him, to friendship with him, indeed, to share in his own divine life as his sons and daughters”. We are one because God wants us to be one with Him. Our challenge is to strengthen and perfect this gift.
Our oneness of the church is visible in many ways:
The church is one because of its source, God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe in God the Father who created the world, and is our Father. The church was born in the heart of God the Father, as part of His glorious plan from the beginning. It is Jesus, his Son, who came to reconcile all mankind through the blood of the cross, restoring the unity of all in one people and one body. It is the Holy Spirit who united all of the faithful into one communion of believers, and who guides the Church.
The church is one in its leadership with the pope as head of the church. Today Pope Francis continues the teachings and leadership of our first pope, St. Peter and the Apostles of Jesus.
The church is one in its celebration of the Mass. Whether one attends Mass in China, South Africa, Michigan, or Cincinnati, the Mass is the same-the same readings, structure and prayers. These aspects are the same except possibly different languages.
The church is one in its sacraments. The church celebrates the seven sacraments that were instituted by Christ. Each week we are blessed to celebrate the Eucharist together. St. Paul to the Corinthians said, “Because the loaf of bread is one, we though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.” The bread of life being Jesus. In the sacrament of Reconciliation, the church enables us to encounter the mercy of God which transforms us. No matter what difficulties we face in life, nothing can destroy this unity because it is a gift from God.
The church is one in its faith. Our doctrine, our creed has been passed down from the apostles. Jesus taught us how to pray with the Our Father. Other Universal prayers such as the Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, Eucharistic Adoration, Liturgy of the Hours, and Stations of the Cross unite the church in faith around the world.
We are all part of God’s one family. Jesus taught us to call God, Our Father. We call Jesus our Brother. Mary is our Mother. We are brother and sisters in this family of God. Finally we are one family of diverse God-given gifts. We have many different vocations and many different gifts, but work together to continue the mission of our Lord. We all have unique gifts in order to serve.
From the beginning, Christ bestowed unity on His church. This unity we believe is something we can never lose, and hope it will continue to increase until the end of time. The church must always work to maintain, reinforce, and make visible the unity. Let us pray that we can grow in our understanding of what we believe, and why we believe it, and ask for God’s guidance in living His gift of unity.
God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, please help unite us as one. May we become one faithful community that shares the love that you, the Holy Trinity, first shared with each of us. On the day of our baptism, we became one with all Christians around the world. We share the one belief that God the Father is our creator; that Jesus Christ is our savior; and that the Holy Spirit is our guide.
May we celebrate the mass and the sacraments as one community of believers. May we share the love of Christ for one another and use our diverse gifts to build the Kingdom of God. May we live out our baptismal promises and go out as one to become the Body of Christ for all. We ask this in Jesus’s name. Amen.
The Church is Holy, presented by the 8th graders
During one of Father Del’s homilies, he reminded us that there are 4 marks or characteristics of the Church. He did a recap on the first mark, which was the Church is ONE. Many of you gave excellent examples of what being ONE meant.
To be truly ONE in the Church, we must put Jesus first, and our trust and faith in him at all times! We concluded that Mass by singing “With ONE Voice”, in which the refrain states:
With one voice, we’ll pass the Word along
With one voice, bring justice to the world
And with all the angels, we’ll spread the goodness of God.
Today, we are going to build on the characteristic of being ONE Church, and discuss the 2nd mark, or characteristic of the Church – HOLY. What does it mean to be holy? What makes us holy? Where besides at Mass, do you witness holiness?
As Christians, we often refer to the Bible as the HOLY Bible.
There are 5 key ways that the Church is holy.
What person comes to mind, when you think of the word HOLY.
Many of you might think of a saint. There certainly are many saints that we know who showed holiness in small ways:
St. Teresa of Calcutta, also known as Mother Teresa, was known for the quote “Do small things with great love.” She cared for the very poor in many holy ways.
St. Francis cared for all the animals.
Some saints built churches. Some became popes of the Church.
St. Theresa of the Little Flower worried about how she could achieve holiness in the life she led. She put her trust in God. Therese’s “little way” of trusting Jesus to make her holy. Her way of relying on small daily sacrifices instead of great deeds, appealed to thousands of Catholics, and others who were trying to find holiness in ordinary lives. It made being holy achievable for all of us.
So, the goal for each of us, is to try to do our best, and that alone will make us holy. We do not have to do great things to be holy. We do not have to be a saint, to be holy. However, the saints help show us how we can be holy.
Each of us can make a choice to BE HOLY, by how we interact with others, how we spend time with Jesus in prayer, how we serve those in need.
One final note, the 8th grade wants to leave with you this morning ……
Just as you see on the back of our shirts – Be the Good!You can… Be the HOLY!